July 12, 1961 - Members of the NAACP called on President Kennedy today to praise and criticize his actions on civil rights. Bishop Stephen Spottswood (second from left), chairman of the NAACP board of directors, praised actions by the Justice Department in the Alabama bus riots and voter registration cases in Mississippi and Louisiana. "We hail these steps you have taken," the Bishop said, "but there is urgent need to buttress Executive action with legislative action in the Congress." Mr. Kennedy replied that he appreciated the views of the NAACP, even if they did not completely coincide with his own. Pierre Salinger, the President's press secretary, said later that so far as he knew, Mr. Kennedy's position was that there was adequate civil rights legislation on the books.
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